Businesses owned by women make up 40 percent of all businesses in the United States, earning revenues of $1.8 trillion a year.
The United States has 12.3 million women-owned businesses, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Women establish, own and run businesses in nearly every industry across the United States. With that in mind, ShareAmerica invited six women entrepreneurs to describe the business philosophies that have helped them thrive.
Sarah Paiji Yoo is a co-founder of Blueland, a New York City–based company offering household cleaning products and hand soap without wasteful packaging. Instead of using plastic containers that end up in landfills or oceans, Blueland’s products — in the form of tablets that dissolve in water — come with a silicone bottle that can be reused indefinitely with refill tablets.
“Our goal is to … [improve] the environment by helping to eliminate single-use plastic, because no one should have to sacrifice a clean home for a clean planet,” Paiji Yoo says. This mission drives innovations that provide customers with products that are affordable, effective and convenient, she said.
Iman Abuzeid, a physician with experience in health-tech startups, launched her own firm — Incredible Health, based in San Francisco — to help U.S. hospitals connect with nurses and speed up the hiring process. Abuzeid’s company relies on cutting-edge automation, data and recruiting technology to pair hospitals with the nurses they need.
“Incredible Health was created to address America’s nursing shortage by enabling health care employers to hire permanent nurses in just 20 days or less, while simultaneously reducing costs for employers,” Abuzeid says. The service supports essential workers, she adds, and leads to better patient outcomes.
Kelly Wilson founded Weave Gotcha Covered, a business in Kansas City, Missouri, that creates custom window treatments and upholstered goods for interior-design projects across the country. Prompted by Wilson’s own struggles as a single mother, the company trains, employs and mentors disadvantaged women, partnering with the “100 Jobs for 100 Moms” program in Kansas City.
“If the door opens, walk through it!” Wilson says. “Be open to opportunities you didn’t see before.”
Sheryle Gillihan is the chief executive of CauseLabs, a charitable corporation in Fort Worth, Texas, working with social-good organizations to create web and mobile technologies for underserved communities. CauseLabs’ motto — “Our mission is to accelerate yours” — informs the company’s digital strategy, workshops and software engineering, all aimed at reducing poverty and solving other problems.
Every business, no matter the size or sector, has a tremendous impact on local economic development, Gillihan says. Business leaders, she adds, have a responsibility to do what’s right: “The outcome is worth the effort.”
Jennifer Hyman is the co-founder (with Jennifer Fleiss) of Rent The Runway, a New York City–based subscription fashion service that provides designer dress and accessory rentals. Membership allows clients to choose from a vast selection of designer clothes without spending large sums of money.
“As your business scales, the problems you need to solve become larger and more complex — but adversity isn’t a reason to stop pursuing your dreams,” Hyman says. “It’s a reason to continue.”
Rubie Gauthier, originally from the Philippines, runs a web development platform — Sitecast — with her husband in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Sitecast helps businesses transform their web presence.
Gauthier says it feels great to help local organizations achieve their goals with state-of-the-art design tools. Her advice? “Leverage technology and never stop learning.”
Banner image: Sarah Paiji Yoo, co-founder and chief executive of Blueland. (© Blueland)